NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Which Lottery Teams Blew Their One Shot at Revival?

Ben ShapiroAnalyst IIIJune 29, 2012

NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Which Lottery Teams Blew Their One Shot at Revival?

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    Teams rebuild through the NBA draft to get better, especially when a team has a lottery pick.

    Every year, 16 of the NBA's 30 teams earn a trip to the NBA playoffs—the other 14 earn a trip to the NBA draft lottery. 

    The 14 lottery teams are looking for that franchise-changing player.

    This season's lottery entrants ranged from the seemingly hopeless—seven-win Charlotte Bobcats—to the Houston Rockets—who finished over .500 and still missed the cut for the postseason.

    With high expectations, 12 teams (Portland and New Orleans had two picks each) looked to turn their franchise around with strong selections. 

    Let's see how they did.

New Orleans Hornets, Grade: A-

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    No. 1 Anthony Davis, PF (Kentucky); No. 10 Austin Rivers, SG (Duke)

    It is tough not to like who the Hornets selected.

    With the No. 1 overall pick, they did exactly what was expected of them.

    Anthony Davis was a no-brainer. The 6'10'' 19-year-old blocks shots, played for a national championship team and was the Player of the Year in college

    At No. 10, 19-year-old Austin Rivers out of Duke should form a top-notch partnership with Eric Gordon.

Charlotte Bobcats, Grade: B-

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    No. 2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF (Kentucky) 

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the second-best player in the nation.

    Kidd-Gilchrist is a player with a great combination of athleticism and energy. What he lacks in basketball talent, he makes up for with passion.

    Kidd-Gilchrist won’t be able to turn the Bobcats into winners on his own, but he can go along way toward bringing a winning mentality to Charlotte.


Washington Wizards, Grade: B+

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    No. 3 Bradley Beal, SG (Florida) 

    This is the player the Wizards wanted, and he fills a position of need.

    He should be a great shooter, but at just 19 years old, he won't be able to turn around the franchise all by himself.

Cleveland Cavaliers, Grade: B

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    No. 4 Dion Waiters, SG (Syracuse) 

    On the basis of addressing team need, Cleveland was on the money. 

    Cleveland will be counting on Dion Waiters to develop into a top-tier shooting guard alongside Kyrie Irving. Waiters and Irving have the potential to dominate the backcourt for the next 10 years. 

Sacramento Kings, Grade: B+

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    No. 5 Thomas Robinson, PF (Kansas) 

    Selecting Thomas Robinson makes the Kings a legit team in the paint. At 6'9'', 244 pounds, Robinson will have an immediate impact down low.

    Pairing Robinson with DeMarcus Cousins creates a serious low-post presence in Sacramento. Like in Cleveland, both players are young and will be a force for a long time.

    The Kings could end up competing for the playoffs next year behind the strength of their frontcourt. 

Portland Trail Blazers, Grade: C+

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    No. 6 Damian Lillard, PG (Weber State); No. 11 Meyers Leonard, C (Illinois) 

    The Trail Blazers needed a point guard and a center, but I'm not sold on either player.

    Meyers Leonard and Damian Lillard are far from sure things.

    Lillard, a college scorer from a small school, won't be able to instantly become a point guard in the NBA. Leonard has size and tools, but he's also young and raw. 

    Too many questions on these picks. 

Golden State Warriors, Grade: A-

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    No. 7 Harrison Barnes, SF (North Carolina) 

    It's hard to see how this pick doesn't work out for the Warriors. 

    Golden State has players such as Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry and David Lee, who are all battle-tested veterans. 

    The Warriors just needed their pick to be solid.

    Harrison Barnes may never be a superstar in the NBA, but he fills a need at Golden State.

Toronto Raptors, Grade: C+

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    No. 8 Terrence Ross, SG (Washington) 

    The Raptors should have traded down if they wanted to select Terrence Ross.

    By selecting Ross where they did, the Raptors missed an opportunity to acquire more talent.

Detroit Pistons, Grade: C

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    No. 9 Andre Drummond, C (Connecticut)

    In theory, Andre Drummond should form a dynamic frontcourt alongside Greg Monroe.

    Drummond is big and athletic, but he's also a question mark.

    With questions about his work ethic, Drummond may not be worth the risk.

Houston Rockets, Grade: A-

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    No. 12 Jeremy Lamb, SG (Connecticut) 

    Jeremy Lamb should fit in very well with a solid Rockets team.

    He will also allow them to deal Kevin Martin, which would provide more assets for a team on the verge of playoff contention.

Phoenix Suns, Grade: B

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    Kendall Marshall, PG (North Carolina) 

    This pick makes sense no matter what happens this summer. 

    If Steve Nash stays, Kendall Marshall will be able to learn from one of the best point guards of all time. If Nash leaves, Marshall will have an immediate opportunity to shine.

    Marshall showed flashes of greatness at North Carolina, but at just 20 years old, being an immediate starter may be a tough adjustment.

Milwaukee Bucks, Grade: B

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    No. 14 John Henson, PF (North Carolina) 

    The Bucks dealt center Andrew Bogut last March for Monta Ellis. In drafting John Henson, they were able to recoup some of the height they lost.

    Though he doesn't project as a center, his athleticism should make for an easier transition to the pro game.

    He may need to bulk up a little bit to be more effective in the paint.